Electronic Arts and the National Football League unveiled big new plans for their jointly-sponsored Madden NFL 19 Championship Series. Bose, Snickers, and New Era Cap will all be sponsors for this year’s series, which boasts some of the biggest prize pools in the history of the game.
All three companies are current sponsors of the NFL. Bose and Snickers have experience sponsoring esports teams, too. Bose signed with Overwatch League team Boston Uprising last year. Snickers is a current sponsor of League of Legends LCS team FlyQuest, and has supported esports for some time. This is, however, one of the first esports partnerships for New Era.
“We are excited to become the Official Cap of EA’s Madden NFL Championship Series and have our product worn by some of the best competitors in the world,” said New Era Cap digital media specialist Austin LaBoda. “This competitive gaming initiative draws a hyper-engaged group of fans and provides us with a new way to showcase our authenticity as the official sideline cap of the NFL.”
“Similar to how Bose provides its noise cancellation technology to NFL coaches on the sidelines for improved game communication, we are bringing our expertise to esports with our QuietComfort 35 II headphones to help with player focus and competition,” said Kyle Graham of Bose global brand partnerships. “Given our NFL sponsorship, this is a natural integration of our product and brand.”
Madden, the NFL simulation game from EA Sports, has one of the longest-running esports traditions of any game. Local tournaments and national events have been held for the game for over two decades. This year’s series saw an exponential rise in live event qualification. The showcase of the series is the Madden NFL 19 Club Championship, which will have a $700,000 prize pool—the biggest ever for an individual Madden tournament.
“For Snickers, this is a natural and authentic extension of our NFL sponsorship as Madden competitive gaming broadcasts are nearly identical to the traditional sports experience,” said Snickers senior associate brand manager Jess Donato. “Fan engagement is a top priority for our brand, and this partnership gives us a direct way to reach a passionate and engaged audience that is unparalleled in the space.”
Over the last few years, the rise of new esports, including the NBA 2K League, has given Madden a lot more competition for fans and viewers. Big sponsorships like the ones announced today, combined with a successful season through late spring 2019, will go a long way to establishing Madden as a premier North American esport.